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Ypsi considering a "don't ask" immigration status ordinance

Jan 25, 2017

Ypsilanti's  city council is considering adopting a new law that would bar city officials and police from asking about a person's immigration status. 

Exceptions would include hiring processes, or when immigration status is relevant to a criminal investigation or government program eligibility.

One goal of not asking about immigration status is to promote community safety.

"It  is not relevant to a traffic ticket," said Ypsilanti Mayor Amanda Edmonds. "It is not relevant when someone comes forward to say they've been a victim of a crime or they have information related to a crime."

Edmonds wants Ypsilanti to be an inclusive community.

"I want to not have young children coming and crying at city council because they're afraid for their families," said Edmonds. "Whether or not they are documented, people are feeling afraid."

The ordinance would also prevent city police from profiling on the basis of immigration status.

Edmonds supports the proposed ordinance. But she declined to say whether it makes Ypsilanti a so-called sanctuary city.

Edmonds said there is not one set definition for that term, and using that label is dangerous in light of state and federal threats to cut funding to "sanctuary cities."

Today President Trump signed an executive order to block federal grants for "sanctuary cities."